On March 21, 2014, Sugarlands Distillery held their grand opening celebration!
An exciting place “with one foot firmly planted in the past and the other in these modern times,” Sugarlands Distillery offers authentic moonshine flavors such as: Silver Cloud, Appalachian Apple Pie, Blockader’s Blackberry, and much more! They use a 7 Step process to make the moonshine:
||Artisanal Stone Burr Mill– Tennessee white corn is milled to a cornmeal consistency in our artisanal stone burr mill.
||Fermenter– Milled corn & pure cane sugar are then combined with “backins” from a prior batch along with yeast & water from the Smoky Mountains to create our sour mash. During fermentation the mash bubbles over 4-5 days.
||Copper Pot Still– Fermented “corn beer” is transferred to the Copper Pot Still where the mash is heated until the alcohol vaporizes. This is the first distillation.
||Copper Distillation Column– As it moves through the copper distillation column, it condenses and is redistilled 5 more times for a total of 6. The copper removes sulfites from the alcohol vapor.
||Spirit Safe– As the liquid is cooled and poured off the tap in the Spirit Safe the new moonshine’s heads, hearts, and tails are collected and separated. Only our hearts are kept for final bottling.
||Sugarlands Shine– The “backins” from the pot still take on new life when they are blended with the next run. The Authentic Sugarlands Shine Silver Cloud is born and savored.
Though a new company, the Sugarlands Distillery has made every effort to keep itself deeply rooted in the Tennessee History from which moonshine originates. You can see this in a variety of ways, including the materials used to construct their main building- a barn-house built from reclaimed wood.
Blue and White Wood
The rustic blue and white painted wood used throughout the distillery interior was rescued from the Grey family home which was nestled in the Cane Creek area of Tellico Plains. The home was built upon a brick foundation which pre-dates the civil war. The wood carefully selected for our distillery consists primarily of interior painted wood from this warm family home, soaking up the history of family gatherings through the years.
The signature red wood came from an old barn in the Appalachian foothills of Tellico Plains, which was built and then painted by the Carriger family in the 1930’s. Just up the road from there a few of the light greenish/grey boards came out of the interior of a house in an area called Turkey Creek that also dates back to the Civil War.
Brown and Grey Wood
The weathered brown and grey wood which covers the distillery’s exterior and some high interior walls were saved from a barn in Sweetwater. Built by a well-respected barn builder of the time by the name of Wilson, a copy of the handwritten deed of the property reveals it was most likely built in the late 1850’s. It is all white oak wood. The brown was most likely interior wood protected from the elements while the grey wood shows 150 years of cold mountain snows and the heat of Southern summers.
Another interesting way the Sugarlands distillery shows their pride in their roots is by sharing some of the fascinating history and legends of our area on their website! Stop by there sometime and enjoy learning about the moonshine history of the area and the part it played in our economic development, Wiley Oakley, for whom one of Gatlinburg’s most traveled roads is named (ERA In the Smokies has several cabins available for rent which are on or just off of Wiley Oakley Rd), and much more!
Worth a Visit
Below are just a few reasons the Sugarlands Distillery is worth a visit!
The Back Porch
Rest your feet and sit a spell on our Back Porch; an outdoor pine pavilion which includes our performance stage ready for you to relax and savor your time with us at the distillery. We keep our calendar filled with touring regional and national musical acts as well as talented local favorites. Highlighting styles ranging from; Appalachian Americana, old-timey, bluegrass pickin’ jams, folk, acoustic, and singer-songwriter.
The Back Porch is also home to the Smoky Mountain Storytellers Association, which brings tale tellers to the stage from as close as our backyard to the world over. Check out our Happenings page for our up to date entertainment calendar and plan your next visit to hang out with us.
The Trading Post
Shop moonshine, mountain merchandise, apparel, books, music and more in the Trading Post. You’ll find a collection of shirts, hats and other accessories to outfit your Sugarlands style. There’s also a nifty assortment of gifts and tools for the outdoor adventurer. Since we care an awful lot about our Sugarlands Shine we’ve got glassware, flasks, and other gizmos to serve it up in fine fashion. Don’t worry, we’ve got plenty of extra large bags for you to carry all your stuff. Visit the shop link to preview our full range of online Sugarlands Merchandise available.
The Sippin’ Posts
We wanted to make it easy to sip free samples of our delicious Sugarlands Shine while you’re visiting, so we constructed three octagon bars for folks to gather around. We call em Sippin’ Posts. We’ve saved a place just for you to get acquainted with our friendly Tastemakers as they pour savory sips of all of our fine moonshine. At the Sippin’ Post, you will find your favorite flavors of shine to take home and share with friends and family.
When you buy a full case of twelve jars from the distillery, or even a six pack you will receive your very own Sugarlands wood crate absolutely free. Warning- you will receive very interesting looks on the street while walking around downtown Gatlinburg and may gain many new friends in the process.
Sugarlands Still House
Although the recipes and craft of making moonshine are ages old, the Sugarlands Still House features custom-designed distilling equipment that produces a superior moonshine.
With one foot firmly planted in the past and the other in these modern times, the Still House is where our delicious Sugarlands Shine is made.
Our artisanal stone mill grinds grains like corn and rye into meal that is then mixed with pure Smoky Mountain water and is then moved to our giant cooker. From there, the liquid is transferred to the fermenter to simmer for a few days. When the time is right that “wash” is pumped into the copper pot still where it is heated and distilled. The alcohol vapor filters through the copper pipes and rises up through the plates of the distillation column, down through the chilling column to cool and is finally poured out of the Spirit Safe.
You can see the whole production through the screen windows or if you want to take a closer look you can book a free talk and tour. As long as you knock on our speakeasy door, whisper the password, keep mum, and you are in!
Most of the above contents, including most of the photos, were copied directly from The Sugarlands Distillery Website. Please visit their website to get more information, stories, and pictures!